Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mung Bean Soup (Sweet)

The Chinese are very firm believers of certain ingredients providing beneficial or detrimental effects on the body.  It meant that when I had ulcers or nose bleeds, I was considered too 'heaty' and that I needed to avoid the foods that were causing them (deep fried items, durian boo hoo hoo) and to eat those that would counteract it.  Mung bean is one such ingredient which is seen as an ingredient with cooling properties and a great remedy for days where you might have overindulged on one too many fried chicken or just couldn't resist that one last durian.  

I made this soup more as a preventative measure more than a remedy, given the my sons had been playing outside and the day was getting warmer and warmer as it progressed. This is one dish that my eldest, Isaac, isn't too fond of though, so to try and make it a little more appealing to him, I added in coloured potato jelly.  Surprisingly, he took to it, and finished the whole bowl with requests for seconds! I'll note that down as a win thanks...

The jelly isn't a traditional aspect of the dish, although if you do have children or fussy adults, it might be worth a shot to add it.  It won't significantly alter the flavour of the dish, and you can get some of the nutritional benefits of the mung bean into them!


Mung beans can be found in an Asian grocers.  You may have luck finding them in your local supermarket down the international aisle as well.  There are a couple of types, the one for this particular dish are the green mung beans.  Rock sugar can also be found either in the international aisle or local Asian grocers.  It will normally come in large chunks of rocks, and you may need to eyeball quantities to suit your taste.  In terms of the pot, I like to use a cast iron pot as I find the heat transfers better which breaks down the beans easier, but any heavy bottomed pan should suffice.

200g mung beans, clean and soaked for 15 minutes
1 cup rock sugar, equivalent to approximately 3 medium rocks
1.5L water
3 pandan leaves, wash and tie in a knot
dash of salt


Bring 1.5L of water to boil in a pot. When boiling, add in the mung beans and pandan leaves. Bring to boil again. then let it simmer over low to medium heat for about 45 minutes. Check the water occasionally making sure it doesn't dry up and that your beans are breaking down.

Add in the rock sugar and salt, letting it dissolve. Taste and adjust if required.

Potato Jelly

1/2 cup potato starch
Food colouring of choice
Hot water

Divide potato starch into three portions. In a cup add a drop of colour into 3 tablespoon of hot water. Slowly add the starch until it forms a dough. Tip out, roll dough into a log, and cut it into little cubes. Repeat for each colour.

Bring a small pot of water to the boil and add dough to the boiling water. The jelly will float to the top when it is cooked. Remove, and cool immediately in a cold water bath. 

Add the coloured jelly in when you are ready to serve the mung bean soup.  Even though this soup is designed for days when your body needs a little help to cool down, you can enjoy this whenever you wish. It's a great little finisher after dinner as well. Happy eating friends!

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